Jesse Rapczak

Jesse Rapczak’s life in games

The creative director of Ark: Survival Evolved reveals the games that inspired him to bring Tyrannosaurus taming to all our living rooms

The first game I ever played: River Run

I first played games on the Atari 2600, and I used to play River Run all day long, trying to get further and further down that darn river. I remember the first time I saw the NES, I felt like my parents tricked me because my friends had this awesome machine and I was still playing Atari games that we bought at sales! 

I was really behind the curve, but [when I got a NES], I remember going home and playing Super Mario Bros. for four hours and I was just blown away. So that was the start of my gaming on console.

river run

River Run

The games that most inspired me: Zelda, Pokémon and Halo

I’m inspired by many games. If I only had one influence, Ark would probably be a lot more focused! Classic adventures like The Legend of Zelda inspired us, and for the taming thing [you can tame dinosaurs in Ark], we’re thinking of Pokémon and how you might interact with your creatures. When it came to the first-person action, I’m really thinking about Halo shooters.



The game I’d take to a desert island: Mario Kart 64

If it was me and some survivors trying to get along, I think the fun of playing Mario Kart would aid our greater issue of being stranded. I loved that game – it’s kind of why we have split screen on Ark – we realised we missed sitting down with friends and family in the same room and playing a game together.

Mario Kart 64

Mario Kart 64

My favourite game right now: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time on Rise of the Tomb Raider because I really like the storytelling, and I think that they [Crystal Dynamics] did a great job with the environments and art. That game is really fun to look at.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

© Xbox // YouTube

My latest game: Ark Survival Evolved

Ark is the game we’ve wanted to play since childhood. The dinosaurs were a big part of that. We wanted a game where we could throw in everything and just have a lot of fun with it, and that’s how we ended with a survival game that’s also action based. Ark: Survival Evolved is out on PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 2.

Ark Survival Evolved

© PlayStation // YouTube

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06 2016 The Red Bulletin

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